January 22, 2013 by David K. Sutton
Inaugural Address: Empathy And Basic Human Dignity Are Not Partisan
President Obama talked race, gay rights, social safety-nets, liberty and freedom among many of the topics he mentioned during his second inaugural address on Monday.
On race he invoked our slave-owning past. On gay rights, he mentioned Stonewall, and in so doing he became the first president to say the word “gay” in an inaugural speech. On liberty, Obama cited the Declaration of Independence, “that all men are created equal” and have “certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” He mentioned Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security and that those social safety-net programs do not enslave us, they free us. “They do not make us a nation of takers,” Obama said.
With our country’s social safety-nets, people not born into privilege are able to stand on a foundation, allowing them to pursue their dreams and become productive members of society. With a greater acceptance of all members of society, and a greater understanding that our differences should not divide us but instead unite us, we can ultimately fulfill the promise of both the Declaration of Independence and the preamble to the Constitution.
We should not for one second accept partisanship when it comes to the rights, liberties and freedoms invoked by our 44th president and enshrined in America’s great documents. It is not partisan for gays to have equal rights. It is not partisan to show empathy for others. It is not partisan to defend basic human dignity for those less fortunate in society. It is not partisan to long for and to believe in “a more perfect union,” just as it was written so long ago.